Aaron Jones will be a primary receiving option for the Packers in 2022

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The Green Bay Packers offense will look different in 2022. Without Davante Adams, there won’t be an obvious primary receiving option. This role will change every week. Green Bay’s leading wide receiver may not even be a receiver. Aaron Jones will be a key part of the game plan and he can become a consistent receiving weapon for the Packers.

Between 2019 and 2021, Jones was the running back with the fourth most receiving yards (1,220) behind Austin Ekeler, Alvin Kamara and Christian McCaffrey. He was also tied for second with most touchdowns at the post with 11, alongside Alvin Kamara and just behind Ekeler, who had 18 scores.

Jones’ most prolific season as a receiver came in 2019. Adams suffered a toe injury against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 4 and missed the next four games. The Packers beat the Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs, and Jones was the center point of the passing offense.

This stretch highlighted that Jones won’t be performing as a great receiver every week. Depending on the opponent, it’s harder for a running back to produce, especially against a team with side-speed linebackers who cover sideline to sideline. But Jones can take control of games, like he did against the Cowboys and Chiefs. Jones had over 200 yards from scrimmage in Kansas City, and his teammates gave him the ball as a compliment for his performance.

The Packers were more efficient last season using two running backs on the field simultaneously. It could have been more frequent had Kylin Hill not been injured, but the roster will have more depth this year. Hill is back and the Packers have signed two talented undrafted free agents, Tyler Goodson and BJ Baylor, who could become role RBs. Plus, it’s fair to expect AJ Dillon to play a bigger role. He finished last season as the de facto starting running back. These factors may help free Jones and allow the Packers to use him as a catcher.

Short game replacement

The Packers used more resources to replace Marquez Valdes-Scantling than Adams. Christian Watson, Romeo Roubs and Sammy Watkins can all explore the deep areas of the fields. But there are no receivers on the roster who could replicate Adams’ role. Jones may also be the most similar play the Packers can use in RPO concepts and receive bubble screens to gain yards after the catch. That’s how Jones scored the game-winning touchdown against the Chiefs three years ago.

The Packers build offense with fast receivers who can be deep threats, and Jones is a perfect gimmick for exploring the lower end. It won’t come as a surprise if Jones plays a similar role to Deebo Samuel in San Francisco last season.

Additionally, Adam Stenavich is Green Bay’s new offensive coordinator. In addition to being the offensive line coach from 2019 to 2021, the Packers also promoted Stenavich to play coordinator last season, so he knows how to use them and how they can impact the game. Game.

There is also a financial component that makes it essential for Jones to be both receiver and running back. Jones’ cap is $5.9 million this year. But he’s rising to $20 million next season and another $16 million in 2024. While a restructuring is still on the table, it’s hard to justify paying so much for a player who is just a ball carrier. If Jones’ role expands in 2022, it will be easier to keep him on a wide receiver-type contract as his importance and versatility on offense will be immense.

Ahman Green, who totaled 2,726 receiving yards between 2000 and 2009, is the all-time leader in receiving yards by a running back for the Packers. Jones is 10th on the list, with 1,448 yards. But he should move up that ranking if he stays in Green Bay until the end of his current contract, and that’s a weapon the Packers can’t give up.

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